Much political hay is made over making sure that the wealthy pay their fair share of income taxes, that the wealthy avoid paying income taxes through tax "loopholes," and that tax relief should be restricted to the less wealthy. One has to wonder how much sense any of that makes, and how much more progressivity the system can bear as a practical matter or under equitable principles, when the IRS in its most recent Statistics of Income advises us:
a. Taxpayers in the group that includes only the top 1% of adjusted gross income filers pay 39.9% of the income taxes paid by all individual taxpayers; and
b. Taxpayers in the group that includes only the top 5% of adjusted gross income filers pay an astounding 60.1% of the income taxes paid by all individual taxpayers.
This, according to the most recent year for which compiled information is available - 2006. The information is available online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/09winbulinincome.pdf.